September 26, 2011 - Monday of the Twenty-Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Readings

The least among us is the greatest. Which leads to the questions: the least what? and the greatest what? The least wealthy among us are the greatest in need of our help. The least selfish among us are the greatest givers. The least powerful among us is in the greatest danger. This phrase cannot be absolutely true, since the least powerful among us are not always the greatest intellects and the least wealthy are not necessarily the greatest doers of good.

If we were to simply read it as, the least according to this world are the greatest according to the Kingdom of Heaven, we still have difficulties. How many saints have been kings like St. Louis or popes like Blessed John Paul II? Even someone like St. Therese of Lisieux, who tried to be a little as possible, was still not the least important person in the world. She was the novice master of her community, a position of some importance.

If we follow the logic of the gospel, we can discover something. Who is the greatest? God is the greatest. Who is the greatest man? Jesus Christ is the greatest man. He just said that whoever receives a child in his name receives him. In a certain sense, that child, who is among the least important of all, is the greatest, because, in a certain way of considering things, that child is Jesus Christ, just as you are Jesus Christ, and I am Jesus Christ. So we could translate the phrase: everyone, even the one who is least is (in a certain manner of speaking) the one who is the greatest: Jesus Christ.

When we see someone, whether on their throne in their castle or on the street corner in the city, it is possible to see Jesus Christ, if we know how to look. We do not look with our eyes but with love. To look with love at anyone, created in the image and likeness of Jesus Christ, is to see Jesus Christ. Even if we cannot see it, whether because our eyesight is so dim or because the image is so obscured, we can, thanks to Jesus, know it. We can know that our waiter is Jesus Christ. We can know that the person driving next to us is Jesus Christ. We will begin to see Jesus, and opportunities to love Jesus, everywhere we look.